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52% are cautious about “crime of conspiracy,” Mainichi poll

The Mainichi Shimbun nationwide survey conducted on May 20–21 asked pollees for their views on the bill to revise the Organized Crime Punishment Act to change the structural elements of conspiracy and create the charge of “making preparations for terrorism.” Over half of pollees (52%) said “debate should be continued without being overly concerned that the bill be enacted during the current Diet session.” The bill will pass the Lower House as early as May 23. The government and ruling parties plan to have the bill passed during the current Diet session, but many call for careful deliberations. Some 17% said “the bill should be enacted during the current Diet session,” while 14% said “the bill should be scrapped.” Over 50% of both cabinet supporters and cabinet nonsupporters thought “debate should be continued.”


Under the current Imperial Household system, female members of the Imperial family leave the family if they marry a commoner. Some say, however, that “female Imperial branches” should be allowed in order to maintain the number of Imperial family members. This would involve allowing princesses to stay in the Imperial family after they marry a commoner. With the announcement of the engagement of Princess Mako of Akishino, the oldest daughter of Prince and Princess Akishino, the poll asked respondents about female Imperial branches. Some 41% said they “should be permitted” while 20% thought that “is not necessary” and 25% said “don’t know.”


With female Imperial branches, there is a chance that a female-line emperor whose father is not a member of the Imperial family could ascend the Chrysanthemum Throne in the future. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is reluctant to allow this. Even among cabinet supporters, however, some 42% think this should be allowed.


Kake Educational Institution, which is headed by a friend of Prime Minister Abe, plans to set up a veterinary department in one of the government’s national strategic special economic zones. A report has been found that claims approval for the project was “as the prime minister wished.” Some 54% of respondents said they think “the Diet should launch an investigation to determine the facts of the matter,” easily surpassing the 28% that said “this is not necessary.”


[Polling methodology: The survey was conducted by pollsters during the two-day period of May 20–21 over the telephone across the nation on a computer-aided random digit sampling (RDS) basis. The survey excluded telephone numbers in municipalities designated as “difficult-to-return” zones due to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. A total of 1,634 households with one or more persons age 18 or over were sampled. Responses were obtained from 1,044 persons (64%).]


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